The tiger, formally known as Panthera tigris, is the largest cat. Other cats that belong to same genus, Panthersa, are lion, jaguar, and leopard. This genus comprises only cats that can roar. Tigers are well known for their red-orange and black stripes and sometimes, black and white strips. Being the biggest cat, tigers can grow to a length of 3.3 metres or 11ft. The cat can weigh up 306 kilograms (675 pounds).
What do tigers eat in the wild
Tigers are predators and their diets are almost entirely made of meat. What do tigers eat? Their favorite prey is deer and wild boar. Some of the favorite deer species that the cat preys on includes, sambar, chital, swamp deer, hog deer, and sikar deer. Their diet, however, may be diversified. Where possible, tigers also hunt and kill the buffalo, domestic livestock (cows, goats, sheep and donkey), monkeys, peafowl, and fish.
It is also interesting to note that these cats also eat certain species of frogs, crabs, and large monitor lizards. When situations demand, the tiger will also not spare young elephants and young rhinoceros.
Tigers will also eat on wild fruits and berries; this is possibly their major source of minerals and vitamins. In certain instances, the cats will eat grass. Grass helps them cough out small bones and fur balls out of their system.
What do tigers eat in captivity
Professionals who take care of tigers held captive understand that tigers require a diet rich in proteins and fat. Meat, for that matter, is often the main source food of captive tigers. In certain cases, these tigers are fed on fresh game meat. In other cases, the tigers may be fed on livestock meat. Sometimes tigers are fed on live animals. This idea is always considered controversial but it is necessary when tigers in captivity are being considered for release back into the wild (feeding the cats on live animals allows them to keep their hunting instincts alive).
Other items that tigers in captive are fed on include food supplements (especially those containing vitamins and minerals), water, fruits, and grass.
How do tigers hunt and kill
Unlike lions, their close relatives, tigers lead solitary lives. This means that they are solitary hunters, as opposed to their lion cousins who may hunt in prides. The cats search their prey using sight, sound, and scent. Because of their heavy bodies, they depend on concealment and stalking.
Once prey is targeted, the cat begins to stalk from the side or rear in a crouch or semi-crouch position. Remaining concealed and stalking slowly and cautiously, the cat attempts to move towards its target. The cat will begin to stalk prey when the prey is about 2om (66ft) away.
Once he is close enough, he dashes towards the prey. Using his potent forelimbs and sharp claws, he seizes his prey from the back, shoulder, or neck forcing the prey to the ground. Unless in cases where the hunted prey is very big, the cat will bring down his prey when his hind feet are on the ground. During the attack, the cat unleashes a lethal bite on the prey’s nape of the neck or the throat. When the prey is more than half the weight of the tiger, the cat will bite the prey’s throat causing suffocation. For small prey, less than half the size of the cat, the tiger bites the prey’s nape of the neck, damaging the spine.